Jesus Appears to Disciples after Resurrection – John 20 19 31 – Message and Meaning

1. Introductory prayer

I calm down and I feel the presence of God in me. I ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to open the word of God, I accept it and allow it to fulfill my mission in me, in order to become more and more what I am in Holy Trinity. Then I ask God for this prayer, in my own words or with those that are here.

Lord, you have mercy forme, endlessly. You come to me, to my closed heart. You love me, you send me all over the world to announce your love! Father, please grow my faith in You I have already touched my wounds, collected them as a whole, donated them so that they have already become bread for others.

2. Reading – Listening: Jesus Appears to Disciples after Resurrection – John 20 19 31

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

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21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

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28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

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3. Thoughts on the Gospel – Jesus Appears to Disciples after Resurrection – John 20 19 31 – Message and Meaning

The risen Lord Jesus revealed to the disciples the importance of His resurrection gradually and over a period of time. Even after the apostles saw the empty tomb of Jesus and heard the message of His showing to women, They still had a weak faith and were very afraid that the Jewish authorities would imprison them too. When Jesus showed them the truth of his resurrection by showing them the wounds of his love, his pierced hands. He calmed their fears and brought them peace, the peace that free forgiveness gives and choice for the friendship with God.

Jesus did something only love and trust can do. He ordered his weak and timid apostles to go to all corners of the globe and bring the glad news of the gospel there. Jesus fulfilled His mission with his complete love and obedience to the will of his Father. He called his first students and now he is calling each of us, to do the same. Just as Heavenly Father sent Jesus, so now He sends His disciples. Just as he gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to his first disciples, so he breathes into each of us the same Holy Spirit that fills us with new life, power, joy and courage to live more as disciples of the risen Lord

The last apostle to meet the risen Lord was the first to go with him to Jerusalem during the Passover. Apostle Thomas was a real pessimist. When Jesus suggested they visit Lazarus after receiving the news of His illness  Thomas said to the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (Jn 11:16). Thomas loved the Lord deeply, but lacked the courage to stand with Jesus during his agony and intersections. After Jesus’ death, Thomas made the mistake of going away from the other apostles. During the trials and distress, he sought solitude, not being in the community with others. He doubted the women who saw the resurrected Jesus, and he doubted his own friends, the apostles.

When Thomas finally had the courage to rejoin the other apostles, the Lord Jesus came to him, personally revealed and convinced him that he had truly overcome death and risen. When the Apostle Thomas recognized his teacher, he believed and exclaimed that Jesus is truly his Lord and God! So do we with the gift of faith, we proclaim that Jesus is our personal Lord and God. He died and resurrected that we too may have a new life in him. Lord offers each of us a new life in His Holy Spirit, that we may personally know him and walk in his power,

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4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • If I let the Lord to go on the cross for me, in what love can he invite me?
  • When we are afraid, we seclude ourselves, we lock ourselves up. If the Lord enters into this fear of mine, where can the light shine?
  • The Lord does not blame the disciples for running away, leaving him alone. He comes to them with love, mercy, with all the beauty of the resurrection. What does this bring to me?

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God).

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me. Perhaps from this silence, I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

7. Action

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action).

8. Prayer at the end

Thank you for meeting me with your Mercy and loving Peace. And thank you to trust me, as I don’t even know that you have saved me. May I be your disciple, of the Lord, who proclaims Your endless love.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel with the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings, and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. With a prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio Divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home – ignacijevdom.si

Text from the Bible – New International Version (NIV)

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